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Thread: Intonation issues

  1. #1

    Default Intonation issues

    I have a Tenor sax Bb it is about 9 years old and is a Unison SX602. The problem is the high D,D#E F F# are all about a semitone sharp. Why is this and is there anything that can be done? The F# is practically G. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2008 saxxsymbol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Is there cork feet under the keys you describe?
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    How loose is your mouthpiece on the cork and also what mouthpiece are you using? Check with another mouthpiece before you blame the sax. Also what strength reed do you use, sometimes a strength that is not exactly for you can cause this. See how far your palm keys open as well, if they open significantly wide compared to other saxes this could cause intonation problems

    If it is the mouthpiece:
    1. Consider a different piece or a refacing
    2. If it is because the mouthpiece is loose or wiggles on your cork, try rapping some printer paper around your cork and then taping it to make a thicker cork, this is a good way to test if it is the mouthpiece.

    If it is the reed:
    1. Try another reed
    2. Sand down your reed to see if the intonation is better, you can sand reeds down about a quarter to a whole strength

    If it is the Sax:
    1. Take it into a tech
    2. To test try opening the D not all the way but a little less than and hold it there, if it seems more in tune, then you might wanna' consider having more cork added to your palm keys. If you have trouble holding the palm key not all the way open you can stick a little folded piece of paper where your cork contacts and this will close it down a little bit.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Also make sure your chamber is even along with the baffle, irregularities in the baffle and chamber can cause intonation problems. I had the same problem once before, and it was all the baffle and chamber, in fact my D3 was a SHARP D#3.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Quote Originally Posted by saxxsymbol View Post
    Is there cork feet under the keys you describe?
    Yes there is but maybe i could add some more make it higher then closing the gap?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Will try all your suggestions in the morning...thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Will check chamber

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Quote Originally Posted by maiaihii View Post
    If it is the mouthpiece:
    If it is the reed:
    If it is the Sax:.
    And if it is you, the player, you might be biting too hard in the upper register.

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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Many saxes have this problem in the palm keys. Yamaha are kind of famous for it… but not a semitone. If it's really a semitone, you're gonna have to put some crescents in the toneholes. It's not a big deal and too difficult.

    http://www.musicmedic.com/info/articles/num_24.html
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Deleted. Double post...

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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    And if it is you, the player, you might be biting too hard in the upper register.
    Very good point JL, I made the ASSumption that it was his gear.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Thanks for this I think it could be useful. cheers

  13. #13

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Could be that you are voicing the notes too high with the back of your tongue (too much eee, more than needed, try slightly more of an a or positions between ee and a and see what happens) or you vocal chords (too much pressure).
    Try different mpcs and let a tech check the horn, maybe keyhights must be adjusted.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    The reason I thought it was the gear was because I never had this problem with my last sax but i suppose every sax is different

  15. #15

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie leeson View Post
    The reason I thought it was the gear was because I never had this problem with my last sax but i suppose every sax is different
    Intonationwise every horn is different and it takes some time to get used to the intonation of a horn. For how long are you playing on it? Can you compare it directly to another horn? Whether it is really this horn or you or your mouthpiece. Did you try another neck to see what will happen. There could be so many reasons. All you can do is to do a list with all possible reasons and work yourself through this list to find the real reason. We can't do a diagnosis without having the horn in our own hands. Start with a check of a tech. Did your teacher had the same issues with the horn?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Horn is much improved now I have basically added more cork onto palm keys so they don't open so far also the octave key was going too high so bit of cork there and other key places.This seems to have made a massive improvement i have also been adjusting my technique. So, at last play all seemed good. Thanks for all of your help everyone.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Didn't quite have to go to using crescents but it was on the cards!

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Intonation issues

    Happy that any of us could help man

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